Dáil Éireann - Volume 523 - 11 October, 2000

Written Answers. - Orthodontic Service.

218. Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Health and Children the total number of patients on the orthodontic waiting lists in the North Western Health Board area; the number who are on the list for a year or more; and if he will appoint extra staff to deal with the problem. [21690/00]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): The provision of orthodontic services and the maintenance of waiting lists in the North Western Health Board area is the statutory responsibility of that board. I have had inquiries made of the board and they inform me that currently, the total number of patients on the orthodontic waiting lists is 2,107. The number of patients on the waiting lists for a year or more is 1,578.

The North Western Health Board is currently pursuing a number of options in terms of recruiting staff and is actively trying to attract and recruit staff from abroad. The board has employed an additional dentist with specialist qualifications in orthodontics in its efforts to address the numbers requiring treatment.

In addition, at my invitation, the health boards have recently submitted proposals to me as to how waiting lists and waiting times for orthodontic treatment in their areas might be significantly reduced. I hope to respond to the boards proposals in the near future.

219. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children if a person (details supplied) in [1813] County Mayo can be reassessed for orthodontic treatment. [21691/00]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): As the provision of orthodontic treatment to eligible persons in County Mayo is the statutory responsibility of the Western Health Board, I have asked the chief executive officer of that board to investigate the position in this case and to reply directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.